tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/digital-strategy Latest Digital Strategy content from Econsultancy 2017-11-10T10:01:15+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69556 2017-11-10T10:01:15+00:00 2017-11-10T10:01:15+00:00 More brands want to bring programmatic in-house, but can they? Patricio Robles <p><a href="https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/309473/32-of-marketers-to-bring-programmatic-media-buyin.html">According to</a> Advertiser Perceptions DSP Report, which polled more than 700 advertisers, nearly a third (32%) of those surveyed say they plan to bring their programmatic buying in-house. </p> <p>And it looks like many agencies apparently aren't going to stop them from doing that as the majority of marketers and agencies polled revealed that they believe programmatic ad buying will eventually become an in-house responsibility.</p> <p>The reasons behind this are not surprising: brands are increasingly concerned with ad fraud, brand safety and verification. As <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69438-is-uber-s-lawsuit-against-an-agency-a-harbinger-of-greater-brand-agency-discord">Uber's recent lawsuit against one of its agencies</a> demonstrates, these issues are difficult for brands and agencies to navigate and when something goes wrong, the fallout can be ugly.</p> <p>There's also the issue of cost and how agencies are paid. Specifically, brands have become aware of <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/05/23/mark-ritson-agency-kickbacks-are-turning-media-buying-into-a-shadowy-black-box/">agency kickbacks</a> and double dipping, and for obvious reasons, they don't like it.</p> <h3>What needs to happen for programmatic to move in-house?</h3> <p>Of course, bringing programmatic in-house will require more of brands in the following areas:</p> <h4>Knowledge.</h4> <p>Knowledge of programmatic has improved considerably in recent years but before brands can bring programmatic in-house, they will need to honestly and accurately assess how much knowledge of programmatic exists within their marketing organizations and not only ensure that they have enough to support programmatic in-house but establish plans to grow and disseminate that knowledge throughout the marketing organization.</p> <h4>Resources.</h4> <p>Programmatic can be complex and the processes that support programmatic efforts can't be done without ample people and technology resources. This is especially true for brands that expect their in-house programmatic operations to perform better than agency operations.</p> <p>People and technology resources both obviously require an investment of dollars and brands should keep in mind that even with dollars, staffing can be a challenge because there is a shortage of skilled and experienced programmatic professionals and many of them are concentrated in a small number of geographic regions.</p> <h4>Vendor relationships and partnerships.</h4> <p>Brands that want to bring programmatic in-house will need to establish direct relationships and partnerships with vendors that supply technologies and services related to programmatic. From attribution modeling to data management platforms (DMPs), there are a whole host of external vendors that brands will need to line up to bring programmatic in-house.</p> <h3>Is an in-house shift really going to happen?</h3> <p>Some brands might have a reasonable rationale for wanting to bring programmatic in-house and have the substantial resources necessary to make the investment, but even then, there are few examples of brands actually doing so. For example, when <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/l-oreal-bring-progra/302519/">L'Oreal made headlines</a> about this last year, <a href="https://adexchanger.com/data-driven-thinking/when-programmatic-in-house-is-really-not-in-house/">it was clarified</a> that its initiative was actually a “strategic partnership with our media agency supporting our decisions, the operations, technology, and relationships.”</p> <p>So for the time being, while nearly a third of brands say they plan to bring programmatic in-house, there's no reason to believe that number will be achieved any time soon.</p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers looking to learn more about programmatic can download <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-cmo-s-guide-to-programmatic/">The CMO's Guide to Programmatic</a></strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69573 2017-11-09T14:45:00+00:00 2017-11-09T14:45:00+00:00 How brand marketers can improve their agency relationships Jeff Rajeck <p>To shed some light on this topic, we asked Hari Shankar (Ecselis Asia), a veteran of both brands and agencies, to speak about how brands can have more productive relationships with agencies at a recent Econsultancy event in Singapore.</p> <p>During his talk, Hari shared many insights about how brand marketers should both choose their agency partners and work with them on an ongoing basis. Below is a summary of his main points.</p> <h3>1) Write a well-crafted request for proposal (RFP)</h3> <p>The best client-agency relationships always start with the brand side delivering a request for proposal which is: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Clear</strong>: Avoid using company or industry acronyms and state overall objectives</li> <li> <strong>Bounded</strong>: The roles for both the agency and the brand marketers should be included</li> <li> <strong>Realistic</strong>: Delivery times and goals need to be evaluated sensibly before asking for quotes </li> </ul> <p>Also, the RFP should include long-term goals of the brand so that everyone understands the big picture behind the work that needs to be done. (For more advice on how to write an RFP, be sure to refer to Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/rfp-templates/">RFP templates</a>.)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0331/brand-agency-relationship1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>2) Select your agency objectively, quantitatively, and qualitatively</h3> <p>Evaluating agencies should be carried out on an objective, quantitative and qualitative basis.</p> <p>Objective in the sense that there should not be favourites when you start the selection procedure. Keep the selection team small and of relatively equal status in the company so that you may avoid this issue.</p> <p>Quantitative in that you ask for a quote and evaluate the agencies based on their response. Keep 'procurement wolves' from driving down the agency's price before you have even started.<strong> </strong> Procurement departments are very good at buying physical inventory, but may squeeze the 'human inventory' of agencies too much.</p> <p>And finally, select your future agency partner qualitatively so that you are choosing the one which fits your needs. If they specialise in digital don't push them to deliver omnichannel. If they are known for being creative, then find another agency to do your media buying.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0332/brand-agency-relationship3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>3) Keep both the scope and performance metrics simple </h3> <p>Once an agency is selected and the commercial terms defined, it should be clear to both sides </p> <p>A) what the agency is aiming to accomplish for the brand;</p> <p>B) how everyone will know if they are successful.</p> <p>The best way to do this, according to Hari, is to keep things simple. Brands should avoid having too many people involved in setting the scope and draw a roadmap for success from the outset.</p> <p>This way both sides know what the expected outcomes are and whether or not the targets are being hit.</p> <p>Too often, explained Hari, each brand marketer throws their own objectives into an ill-defined strategy and neither the agency nor the marketer managing the relationship understands overall performance.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0333/brand-agency-relationship2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3>4) Run a tight ship at both the agency and the brand side</h3> <p>If the brand marketers can set well-defined goals and success metrics at the start, then they need to strive to keep things simple on an ongoing basis.</p> <p>To do so, they should: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Have a clear line of communication:</strong> Assign people on each side who will be responsible for keeping people accountable and results measurable</li> <li> <strong>Avoid unnecessary meetings:</strong> Agencies provide more value when they spend less time in meetings</li> <li> <strong>Establish a sensible reporting process:</strong> If there are too few reports, then the brand-side marketers will feel like they are being kept in the dark. But, Hari noted, having too many reports puts you in the same place, only the agency will be spending more time putting together charts and graphs than doing the work they are being paid for. </li> </ul> <p>So, overall, for brands and agencies to work well together both sides need to minimize the fluff and maximize the action. Cutting down on all unnecessary and time-consuming processes will make the relationship work better for everyone.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank Hari Shankar, Managing Director, Ecselis Asia &amp; Head of Paid Digital Strategy at Havas Media Group for his insights on how brands and agencies can work together more productively.</p> <p>We'd also like to thank all of the marketers who attended the presentation and helped with this post by asking many intelligent questions.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0334/econsultancy-singapore.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600"></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69537 2017-11-02T11:52:09+00:00 2017-11-02T11:52:09+00:00 US online sales to surpass in-store sales this holiday season: report Patricio Robles <p>All told, <a href="https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/consumer-business/us-cb-holiday-survey-report-2017.pdf">Deloitte expects</a> that 51% of the more than $1 trillion in sales that occur in the holiday shopping period will come through online sales, up from 47% last year. In-store sales will account for 42% of total sales, down from 47% last year.</p> <p>Deloitte, which has conducted a holiday shopping survey for the past 32 years, says that the reason for online retail's ascendancy is simple: “online outperforms in-store along critical customer satisfaction dimensions.”</p> <p>These customer satisfaction dimensions consist of ease of searching, product quality, selection/variety, availability of hard-to-find and unique products, and delivery options. In every category, online retail beats offline retail, and handily.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0057/deloitte1.png" alt="" width="695" height="460"></p> <h3>Mobile's role</h3> <p>Interestingly, while mobile's growing role in online retail has become evident in recent years, Deloitte's survey found that 83% of holiday shoppers will use a desktop or laptop device to conduct their shopping and 75% will use a device to complete a purchase.</p> <p>Mobile, on the other hand, will be more often used for browsing and comparisons. 59% of mobile shoppers will make a purchase, up from 43% in 2016, but that's still substantially lower than the desktop/laptop figure, suggesting that retailers would be wise to think about how shoppers will be using different kinds of devices and optimizing customer journeys accordingly.</p> <h3>Retailers gear up</h3> <p>Not surprisingly, with online sales making up an ever-larger portion of overall holiday sales, retailers are <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69534-ask-the-experts-black-friday-ecommerce-strategy/">honing their online strategies for the upcoming holiday season</a>.</p> <p>For example, Target, which didn't do as well last year as it had hoped to, has announced that it will hold fewer promotions but aims to make the ones it does hold more impactful. It will also attempt to woo shoppers with convenience by offering free shipping starting November 1, expanding the number of products that are available for in-store pickup, and adding a new mobile wallet to its iOS and Android apps.</p> <p>Target has also revisited its merchandising strategy. As the Star Tribune's Kavita Kumar <a href="http://www.startribune.com/target-plans-fewer-promotions-it-hope-will-pack-bigger-holiday-punch/451980713/">explained</a>, “Target's merchandising teams have assembled about 1,700 products, most of them designed or curated in-house, that will be displayed on about 10 stand-alone kiosks throughout stores. The items, most of them under $15, range from holiday-themed socks to beauty sets to tech accessories.”</p> <p>While it remains to be seen if Target's efforts will help it better compete with Amazon, which <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/26/amazon-earnings-q3-2017.html">just reported blow-out earnings</a> for the third quarter, its areas of focus appear to be well-aligned to the customer satisfaction dimensions that Deloitte says matter most.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, subscribers can download Econsultancy’s <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium">Retail Statistics Compendium</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69540 2017-10-27T10:15:12+01:00 2017-10-27T10:15:12+01:00 Is Amazon Key the key to Amazon's ownership of the home? Patricio Robles <p>Initially available in 37 US cities, here's how it works.</p> <p>Amazon Prime members in one of the cities where Amazon Key is available install an Amazon Key-compatible smart lock and Amazon's new Cloud Cam security camera. When checking out, customers select in-home delivery and Amazon will give the delivery driver access to their home so that their packages can be placed inside the customers' homes.</p> <p>To allay concerns about safety, Amazon says it "verifies that the correct driver is at the right address, at the intended time, through an encrypted authentication process," and gives customers the ability to watch deliveries live over the web or to review a photo of the delivery after the fact.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9969/pack2_animated_gif_v3._CB1508821986_.gif" alt="" width="1000" height="720"></p> <p>According to Peter Larsen, Amazon's VP of Delivery Technology, "Amazon Key gives customers peace of mind knowing their orders have been safely delivered to their homes and are waiting for them when they walk through their doors."</p> <p>The smart lock and Amazon Cloud Cam that make this in-home delivery service possible are sold in an Amazon Key In-Home Kit which starts at $249.99. Customers can install the equipment themselves or have it installed professionally at no cost. In-home deliveries don't carry any extra costs.</p> <p>In addition to allowing Amazon to make in-home deliveries, the Amazon Key smartphone app can be used to set up and manage keyless access for family and friends.</p> <p>Amazon Key has also been integrated with Amazon Home Services, which matches customers to house cleaners, handymen and equipment assemblers, giving customers the ability to let service providers into their homes, and monitor their activities, without being present. Finally, Amazon is partnering with third-party service providers like ServiceMaster, the parent company of Merry Maids, and pet sitter marketplace Rover.com, so that their service providers can use Amazon Key.</p> <h3>Home ownership, Amazon-style</h3> <p>Amazon Key is just the latest offering by the retail giant that aims to firmly ensconce it in the lives and homes of consumers. For example, Amazon <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69075-is-it-too-early-to-predict-that-amazon-will-win-the-voice-controlled-speaker-market">has already established itself as the leader in the booming voice assistant market</a> with Alexa-powered devices like the Echo and Echo Dot.</p> <p>But Amazon Key, which, not surprisingly, plays nicely with Alexa devices, looks to be the most audacious offering yet. After all, with Amazon Key, customers aren't just putting an Amazon device in their homes; they're physically letting Amazon take over their homes in the most fundamental way possible: access. </p> <p>While the security and privacy concerns raised by Amazon Key are bound to be hotly debated, if Amazon Key is successful, look out: Amazon will be well on its way to truly owning the home.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3294 2017-10-26T13:18:23+01:00 2017-10-26T13:18:23+01:00 HR in the Digital Age <p>HR and Learning and Development practice is shifting significantly in response to the impact of digital technologies and changing organisational contexts. This 1-day course covers the need-to-know shifts, and the latest thinking and approaches, in order to help you and your company succeed in the digital age. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3276 2017-10-26T12:45:41+01:00 2017-10-26T12:45:41+01:00 Fast Track Digital Transformation <p>Digital Transformation. The buzzword of the moment. Everybody from IBM to the British Government claim to be in the throes of digital transformation. But what is it and what does it mean in practice?</p> <p>This course will cut through the hype and answer a simple question. What does digital mean for how you do business? You will learn how digital has changed consumer behaviour. You will discover what steps you will need to take if your organisation is going to survive in this new business reality.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/896 2017-10-24T17:06:32+01:00 2017-10-24T17:06:32+01:00 Digital Therapy Live <p><strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong> is an event dedicated to providing a cure for your digital angst. It’s part of our <strong>Digital Therapy</strong> programme for 2017, a mixture of events and webcasts running throughout the year.</p> <p>We ran our first <strong>Digital Therapy Live </strong>in May and, as it was such a success, we have decided to run another event in November of 2017. </p> <p>November's<strong> Digital Therapy Live</strong> will explore topics of concern in the digital space, providing you with the opportunity to digitally destress and debunk digital mysteries, with our experts giving you sound advice on how to pursue your best digital future (without the angst).</p> <p>It’s designed to be a comfortable and confidential setting, so what’s said at <strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong>, stays at <strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong>. In this private forum, surrounded by your peers and our experts, you are free to rant, question, dispute, explore and immerse yourself in comprehensive digital discussion. </p> <p>This event is exclusive to Econsultancy users who are also senior client-side marketers.</p> <h4><strong>Roundtable topics</strong></h4> <p>At <strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong> you’ll have the opportunity to participate in two roundtable discussions, each focusing on different digital pain points. Upon being allocated a space, you’ll have the chance to choose which discussion tables you would like to take part in the most. Topics on the day include:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Personalisation</strong> - 89% of brands can’t deliver personalised digital experiences,  discover how to ensure you are in the 11% that can.</li> <li> <strong>The Customer Journey</strong> - All I want for Christmas is a great customer journey!</li> <li> <strong>GDPR</strong> - Are you GDPR ready? How do marketers prepare for the critical months ahead?</li> <li> <strong>The Collaboration Imperative</strong> - Leading the path to purchase through the power of collaboration.</li> <li> <strong>The M3 Model</strong> - Making the marketing department fit for the future.</li> </ul> <p>We hope to ease your anxiety and eliminate your digital woes throughout the event; our roundtable discussions aim to help you negotiate the many digital difficulties presented to the modern marketer. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69501 2017-10-16T15:57:00+01:00 2017-10-16T15:57:00+01:00 Pharma must use digital to meet the needs of decision makers: report Patricio Robles <p>According to <a href="http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/Pharma-s-approach-to-market-access-facing-digital-disruption-study-finds-1003684625">the new Multichannel Payer Marketing study</a> released by DRG Digital Manhattan Research (DRG), pharmacy and therapeutics (P&amp;T) committee members are routinely spending as much as three hours a day or more consuming information delivered through digital channels, and four out of five say they prefer digital content to non-digital content.</p> <p>That preference for digital has a huge impact on the decisions P&amp;T committee members make, as DRG found that "P&amp;T committee members rate pharma apps and websites for payers and healthcare professionals as being as influential on their formulary decisions as in-person meetings with pharma representatives." Close to half (44%) "said they would use pharma digital resources more frequently if pharmas made it easier to find content dedicated to formulary decision makers."</p> <p>While pharma companies have historically relied heavily on reps and account managers, the DRG study suggests that digital content and resources are critical to these reps and managers' success. Over half (52%) of P&amp;T committee members surveyed indicated that digital content makes their meetings with pharma reps and account managers "more valuable." And even more (56%) wanted the ability to follow up through digital channels.</p> <p>All told, DRG found that "P&amp;T committee members rate pharma apps and websites for payers and healthcare professionals as being as influential on their formulary decisions as in-person meetings with pharma representatives...underscoring the importance of a more balanced approach to payer marketing."</p> <h3>The need for segmentation</h3> <p>Not surprisingly, DRG's study also revealed that pharma companies need to be thoughtful about what content and resources they develop because different types of payers have different needs. For instance, "two in three of those (65%) at Integrated Delivery Networks associated with health plans want to access trend reports for a disease area on pharma websites, while half of those from IDNs without a health plan are interested in accessing interactive budget modeling features from pharma online."</p> <p>Put simply, for pharma companies to be successful with digital outreach to decision makers, they need to segment their customers and develop the capability to determine what the specific needs of those segments are so that they can develop the digital resources that they will find valuable.</p> <h3>A collaborative spirit</h3> <p>Perhaps the most important finding in the DRG study was that, despite the fact that the pharma industry <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68248-facing-scrutiny-pharma-marketers-turn-to-unbranded-ads">has seen its reputational fortunes decline in recent years</a>, even among professionals, P&amp;T committee members are very interested in working with pharma companies "beyond the pill."</p> <p>Nearly three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed said they'd be open to working with pharma companies to develop patient-centered digital tools designed to reduce readmissions and two-thirds expressed a willingness to partner on the creation of digital tools designed to help patients adhere to their medication guidelines.</p> <p>In other words, pharma companies will increasingly find that they need to embrace the concept of pill-plus – pharma products bundled with solutions designed to ultimately boost their efficacy – to win over decision-makers.</p> <p>What's more, nearly half (47%) of P&amp;T committee members said they're interested in working with pharma companies to facilitate data collection using techniques like remote monitoring. Given that pharma is one of the industries in which data is perhaps one of the most valuable assets a company can have, it would behoove pharmas to take advantage of P&amp;T committtee members' collaborative spirit to forge partnerships that could pay dividends for years to come.</p> <h3>The digital imperative</h3> <p>DRG's study is yet another reminder of the digital imperative that pharma companies face. It reiterates the fact that literally every stakeholder that pharma companies need to meet the needs of, including <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68248-facing-scrutiny-pharma-marketers-turn-to-unbranded-ads">physicians</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68846-three-effective-ways-pharma-brands-have-used-facebook-for-marketing">consumers</a>, are increasingly turning to digital channels to meet their pharma information needs.</p> <p>So if pharma companies want to ensure that they have a role in the conversation, they will need to up their digital games.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68851-six-ways-digital-is-changing-the-pharma-healthcare-industry"><em>Six ways digital is changing the pharma &amp; healthcare industry</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68221-embracing-digital-transformation-in-the-pharma-and-healthcare-sectors"><em>Embracing digital transformation in the Pharma and Healthcare sectors</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69416 2017-10-13T11:27:00+01:00 2017-10-13T11:27:00+01:00 Mobile’s sorted, isn’t it? So why aren’t things getting better for many hotel chains? Martin Jordan <p>You won’t rank in Google, you won’t convert traffic and your brand will be slowly dying (at least online). Any traffic from mobile you do receive will be research traffic alone – and likely traffic with high bounce rates and low dwell time.</p> <p>Thankfully the UK market is mature, has always innovated and most brands will at least have a site that is adaptive or responsive to mobile. That said, there is still a lot of evolution required in the hotel web space that actually starts to exploit mobile as a device, rather than just as another browsing platform.</p> <p>Many brands are still staring down low conversion rates and lots of traffic that looks like “research” traffic due to poorly thought out mobile experiences or pseudo-mobile third-party book­ing engines that look like they’ve been there since the noughties.</p> <h3>Intelligent mobile</h3> <p>Today as we see many hotel brand sites pass the 50% mark for mobile traffic, the approach to developing mobile-friendly sites needs to come with a completely different approach to the user – one that is actually less about mobile and more about the user.</p> <p>At Equator, we refer to this as “Responsive Plus” – a site that not only adapts to the user’s device but thinks intelligently about the content it is going to show them by looking at where the user is, what time of day it is, whether they are logged in, whether they have a booking and whether they are in the middle of the booking process. A connected website such as this, with visibility of its location can tell you that User X is at your hotel, making use of their booked stay.</p> <p>Sounds straightforward enough when put like that, but it belies a greater problem in the hotel space, that of legacy, unconnected and inflexible systems. Here in the UK, we have a generally digitally mature hotel space, made up of medium and large-sized chains. The “mom and pop” operations that typify central Europe are far less prevalent here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9706/travelodge.png" alt="" width="700" height="336"></p> <p>This means that most of the brands here digitised their systems and processes some time ago, buying into comprehensive and complex Property Management Systems and investing in hardware and hosting for them to reside in.  And agencies like ours will have been tasked to build them sites, design a booking engine, get them online and eventually get them visible to mobile users too. All well and good, but this whole technology stack is now woefully dated and is slowly strangling the contemporary hotelier.</p> <p>The reason for this is that the PMS dominates the technology conversation. Everything the hotelier relies on flows from it: the booking engine, F&amp;B, payments, revenue management, channel management, upselling… and a heck of a lot more. If the hotelier wants to do something innovative with any part of their technology stack, the PMS gets in the way.</p> <p>Seen a cool new upselling tool? It needs to work with the PMS. Like to integrate with a smart AI-powered revenue management system? Needs to integrate with your PMS.</p> <p>Hoteliers all over keep having to answer the same question – “What PMS have you got and what version is it?”. Why? Because, invariably it’s legacy, not built on open principles and not designed for easy two-way engagement.</p> <p>So, why are they not tearing out these legacy systems and replacing them anew? Sadly, it’s not always that straightforward. There may be enough CapEx to replace the PMS itself, but many of the incumbent systems connected to it or slave to it will likely need replacing – or certainly overhauling. These systems too will have likely been built as slaves to the PMS and without modern open interoperability. And of course the website will need a new IBE to go with the new PMS too. It’s all expense and can seem like too much for the typical hotelier to bite down on.</p> <p>But perhaps it’s worth sitting down and doing the longer-term maths and building a business case with a 2-3 year viewpoint. Whilst neither the task nor the immediate costs are small, there are multitudinous benefits in the long term. That server-based PMS does not evolve and is likely a few versions old. It needs hosting, it needs patching and it eventually becomes unsupported. Except if you want to pay the supplier a <em>lot</em> of money on support and maintenance.</p> <p>New cloud based technologies are locked out or require prohibitively expensive “bridge” work to make them compatible with your PMS and all along the way. You find you’re missing out on huge revenue opportunities or finding your budget strangled by costs for any enhancement you want to make to it. When this technology is cloud based and open, it’s no longer your problem.</p> <h3>In the cloud </h3> <p>As more hotel systems become cloud driven, we are now witnessing a shift towards a more customer-centric view and away from obese legacy desktop and server-based systems.</p> <p>This new cloud-based approach is opening the hotel tech ecosystem to multiple new players such as Guestline, Hetras and Hotelogix, bringing new capabilities for hoteliers large and small.</p> <p>What used to be an expensive and cumbersome purchase can now be affordably bought from multiple vendors for a single property, as it is for a 100+ hotel chain.</p> <p>With open systems powered by customer data, machine learning and analytics capabilities, hoteliers can exercise their customer data with more flexibility than ever before.</p> <p>This brings a host of benefits:</p> <ul> <li>Smarter front-of-house, capable of personalising the customer experience.</li> <li>More intuitive web experience that tailors itself to the users’ preferences and behaviours, driven by the CRM database.</li> <li>Better marketing function that promotes less but ultimately drives more revenue and deeper loyalty.</li> <li>Unique and individual offerings through an enhanced on-premise experience in a world being commoditised by the OTA.</li> </ul> <p>We’re spending an increasing amount of our time intelligently connecting these systems and have written in more detail about them in our <a title="The hotel in the clouds" href="https://www.eqtr.com/uploads/SmartHotels.pdf">Smart Hotels paper.</a> Whilst technology standards like <a href="http://www.htng.org/">HTNG</a> go a long way to help ensure the interoperability of systems, the technological space in hotels moves very fast and every brand has their own unique needs.</p> <p>There is now huge potential to deliver new forms of service through automation and machine learning – achieved through the connectivity offered by contemporary systems. </p> <p>Examples include:</p> <ul> <li>Linking a hotel’s Wi-Fi system to their CRM platform to personalise the on-site internet experience and give loyal customers super speedy broadband.</li> <li>Developing the ability to reward loyalty without a complex and expensive loyalty scheme or the need to involve senior staff in approval of discounts or upgrades.</li> <li>Taking the typical lobby screen and allowing it to serve real-time offers based on actual availability, demand curves, current weather and more as well as pushing distressed inventory without effort.</li> </ul> <p>It’s this very path to innovation that has the potential to finally free the hotelier’s reliance on the OTA and bring their market share down more in alignment with the airline industry, where direct brand purchases still make up almost 60% of sales. And to suggest that the transition from desktop to mobile could throw this all into jeopardy is to tell just one side of the story. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9705/ryanair.png" alt="" width="700" height="331"></p> <p>With so many expert systems and technologies available at prices that no longer cripple, hoteliers are increasingly building a technology-driven hotel business. And as these systems are connected and made accessible, the opportunities to drive greater revenue, improve efficiencies, deliver better service and change the entire marketing proposition are tangible and excitingly achievable.</p> <p>Any fear of change needs to be swapped for the fear of being left behind. Technology continues to evolve ever faster. If you can’t keep up, find a technology partner who understands your world to help you stay ahead.</p> <p>In the future, when everybody’s lives are in the cloud, the savvy hotelier will be using tech to make their hotel feel like home. The in-room entertainment will be what the customer likes and their dietary requirements will be understood – all without adding mountains of cost or complexity. The future is not far away. But it starts with a <strong>more connected</strong> hotel world.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69414-four-big-digital-trends-impacting-travel-tourism-marketing"><em>Four big digital trends impacting travel &amp; tourism marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium"><em>Travel Internet Statistics Compendium</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns"><em>10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69485 2017-10-12T01:00:00+01:00 2017-10-12T01:00:00+01:00 The single best way to improve your online advertising Jeff Rajeck <p>But at the heart of every conversation is the fundamental question, <strong>what is working now?</strong></p> <p>To get the latest update, Econsultancy recently invited dozens of client-side marketers to discuss online advertising at Digital Cream Sydney. Through roundtable discussions on the topic, attendees agreed that there was one key thing marketers should do to improve the effectiveness of their digital advertising.</p> <p>Before we go into it, though, we'd like to let you know about an upcoming course for marketers in South-East Asia. Econsultancy is offering <strong>Social Media and Online PR</strong> training for those in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-and-online-pr-singapore/dates/3133/">Singapore</a> (November 2nd and 3rd) and in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-and-online-pr-malaysia/dates/3140/">Malaysia</a> (November 28th and 29th). Click the links for more information and to book your spot.</p> <h3>It all comes down to...</h3> <p>After speaking with three roundtables of client-side marketers, our moderator for the discussions, Carolyn Tait, financial services marketer at AMP, concluded that the success of online marketing hinges on having a clear, written-down strategy. Without one, attendees agreed, it's difficult to have a meaningful discussion of tactics.</p> <p>The strategy does not have to be very detailed. In fact, <strong>it's best to fit your strategy on a single page.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9472/1.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <p>What the strategy document should include is: </p> <ol> <li>Who you are targeting.</li> <li>The media you are using.</li> <li>The value of the customer, even if it's an educated guess.</li> </ol> <p>With this simple information, delegates concluded, <strong>you can work backward up the sales funnel from conversion to a target cost-per-click (CPC).</strong> That is, if the lifetime value of a new customer is $100 and you have a 1% conversion rate, then you should aim to spend no more than $1 per click ($100 * .01 = $1).  </p> <p>While this sounds straightforward, <strong>many attendees confessed that they were not yet operating at that level of commercial maturity.</strong> Having an online advertising strategy, therefore, should provide marketers with a significant competitive advantage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9473/2.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="550"></p> <h3>But wait, there's more</h3> <p>Besides driving sensible online advertising spending, though, having a written-down strategy has a number of additional benefits.</p> <h4>1) Retargeting</h4> <p>Around half of the participants were uncertain about the effectiveness of their retargeting programme, and there was little agreement as to what a 'good' CPC or retargeting conversion rate should be.</p> <p>Those with a well-defined strategy, however, were more likely to be confident of their efforts as they had thought deeper about how to retarget through the whole customer lifecycle. They also indicated that using retargeting as part of a broader digital strategy, particularly including telephone support, led to fewer gaps in their efforts to convert interested consumers.</p> <h4>2) Reporting</h4> <p>Having a strategy also helps with reporting, delegates reported. Rather than drowning in a deluge of data, <strong>having a marketing strategy helps identify key metrics worth tracking.</strong></p> <p>And, once the sales funnel was mapped, they could also identify the data they needed but didn't have and devise a plan to get it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9474/3.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h4>3) Stakeholder management</h4> <p>Finally, having a document which clearly stated the target audiences, the advertising platforms, and how using these brought in valuable customers means<strong> marketers can use their strategy to manage upwards more effectively.</strong></p> <p>Many attendees lamented that senior management often hijacked marketing budget and resources with a sudden, out-of-the-blue strategy such as "we need to be on Twitter" or "why aren't we on YouTube like our fiercest competitor".</p> <p>While most admitted that it was always difficult to manage such demands, having a strong strategy with a history of success helped marketers 'manage back' random requests and continue to devote their time and effort to more effective online advertising.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank all of the marketers who participated on the day and especially our Online Advertising table moderator,  <strong>Carolyn Tait, financial services marketer at AMP.</strong></p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Sydney Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9329/3.jpg" alt=""></p>